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The Daily Wildcat

77° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Rules of the reefer

A+growing+marijuana+plant+and+the+end+product+are+displayed+on+Mondya+after+harvesting+a+fully+grown+plant+in+Tucson.+The+grower%2C+who+asked+not+to+be+identified+for+fear+of+legal+repercussions%2C+said+the+plants+are+grown+and+smoked+because+of+chronic+health+issues.
A growing marijuana plant and the end product are displayed on Mondya after harvesting a fully grown plant in Tucson. The grower, who asked not to be identified for fear of legal repercussions, said the plants are grown and smoked because of chronic health issues.

Stricter state marijuana regulations have made the drug harder to obtain, even medicinal purposes.

The Arizona Department of Health Services issued a set of draft rules on Monday, designed to regulate the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act as it is implemented.

As the law and new set of rules state, only patients with certain serious ailments are eligible to be provided with written certification for a registry identification card.

These “”debilitating medical conditions”” include, but are not limited to, cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease or a chronic condition that causes pain, nausea or muscle spasms.

Furthermore, a patient must have one year’s record with a single doctor to be eligible to for a registry identification card.

These new rules are expected to serve as “”true checks and balances”” against those seeking to abuse the law. Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, stressed the importance of such checks during a press conference last December.

The purpose of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is a “”medical program and not a recreational marijuana program,”” Humble said.

State Rep. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, is taking steps he believes will ensure that medical marijuana is not taken lightly.

Farley proposed a bill in the state Legislature last week that would levy a 300 percent tax on the sale of medical marijuana.

The percentage was decided based on how much cigarettes are taxed in the state.

Farley said he wants to avoid a situation like in California and Colorado where “”there is a dispensary on every corner.””

“”There is a major funding crisis,”” Farley said. He also said he envisions using the bill as a means of helping address the state’s $1 billion-plus shortfall.

However, the bill isn’t merely a moneymaking scheme for the state, Farley said.

Farley’s proposed tax would also provide for independent quality and safety regulations of marijuana sold in dispensaries.

The tax isn’t designed to “”arbitrarily tax people,”” Farley said. Instead, the tax is a method of “”saving”” Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Health Services set up a form on their website for Arizona residents to comment on the new law and proposed rules.

The form will be available through Feb. 18 and the input will go toward formulating the finalized code that is expected to be ready at the end of March.

Though new rules are being deliberated, medical marijuana will still be prohibited on the UA campus.

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